Triathlons and Triathletes

Swim. Cycle. Run. Three words that might be appearing on your daily Insta or Facebook feed more often than ever before

As the list of benefits from exercising grows and grows, the Irish are embracing the rise of triathlons with open arms. The Irish Sports Monitor 2015 Annual Report found that 45%, equating to 1.6 million, of the Irish population over the age of 15 regularly participate in sport (defined as having participated in the past 7 days) (1)

The below figure shows the most favoured forms of sport in 2015 were the three components of triathlons, with swimming leading the way in terms of popularity

(Figure 1 - The Irish Sports Monitor 2015 Annual Report, 2015)

(Figure 1 – The Irish Sports Monitor 2015 Annual Report, 2015

Triathlon Ireland’s CEO report for 2016 noted some fantastic achievements with membership numbers growing to 12,500 representing a fifth consecutive year of double digit growth (2). Triathlon coverage it’s not just creating waves within Ireland’s domestic environment. With the representation of Ireland in the Rio Olympics by one female and one male on the elite start for the Triathlon, and one female on the start line of the inaugural Paratriathlon Race, we can only expect to see more participants for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020

Be assured that this sport caters for both guys and girls alike. Triathlon Ireland noted an increase in female membership to 34% in 2016 (2) and in 2015 the gals were trailing the boys by only 7.1% in the participation of sport (1)

(Figure 2 - The Irish Sports Monitor 2015 Annual Report, 2015)

(Figure 2 – The Irish Sports Monitor 2015 Annual Report, 2015)

It might also be as bold to presume that women are beginning to dominant this sport with recent write ups including the “ ‘Ironmams’: The mothers who exercise like athletes” in the Irish Times on the 22nd May 2017. If any of us childless individuals think that we don’t have enough time to devote to fitness, then reading how mums’ of two and seven find the time and motivation to train and compete in Ironman competitions is truly inspiring. Check out their stories @

Basic Tips to Start Triathleting

1.Source a local club

We might think we can do it alone, and for sure we probably can. But to train with like-minded comrades provides so many benefits such as: motivation, development of relationships, training tips, advice on gear and stockists, and most importantly people to share the whole experience with. To find your local club visit

2.Make the commitment to yourself

An added benefit with the growth of triathlons is the increasing number of races now being held throughout the country. Depending on how you respond to motivation, you can choose to start small with a Try-a-tri or go all out and enter a sprint or an olympic distance. Enter a race that suits you and make that commitment to yourself

3.Get enough sleep

Accept that you will have to swap some of your weekly habits for new activities. With these changes, you will probably need a few more hours sleep than what you are currently getting to assist with recovery and optimising energy levels

Aim for 8 hours sleep per night and adapt the “early to bed, early to rise” mantra to help you adjust

In the wise words of Eleanor Roosevelt “Do one thing every day that scares you” – you will never know the power of the mind until you tri 


  1. Sports Ireland. The Irish Sports Monitor 2015 Annual Report (2015). Retrieved from
  2. Triathlon Ireland. Annual Report 2017. (2017). Retrieved from


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